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Spicy Syrah-Glazed Pork Chops

Spicy Syrah-Glazed Pork Chops

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Category: Main Courses

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Try this easy but elegant dish that includes a wonderful recipe for a perfectly spiced fruit and nut couscous pilaf.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups syrah wine
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons star anise pods
1/2 vanilla bean
Zest of half an orange, removed in strips with peeler
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup frozen California strawberries
1 teaspoon cornstarch
4 bone-in loin pork chops
Salt and black pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups fresh California strawberries, stemmed and halved
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Couscous Pilaf (recipe below)

Couscous Pilaf:
1 1/3 cups couscous
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chicken stock
pinch of saffron threads
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup currants
2/3 cup diced dried apricots
2/3 cup toasted slivered almonds
2/3 cup chopped pistachios

Directions

To make syrah glaze, in small nonreactive saucepan, combine wine, sugar, star anise, vanilla, orange zest, pepper flakes and frozen strawberries. Simmer over low heat until reduced to 3/4 cup. Strain into clean saucepan. Mix cornstarch and 1 teaspoon water; whisk into wine mixture. Simmer just until thickened. Heat oven to 400°F. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. In ovenproof skillet, heat oil; sear pork chops on both sides. Transfer skillet to oven; bake chops about 15 minutes or until they are firm to the touch and register 145°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of a chop. Gently heat fresh strawberries in syrah glaze. Mound couscous pilaf on a platter or 4 plates; sprinkle with mint. Plate pork chops next to couscous; spoon strawberries and glaze over and around pork chops. To make Couscous Pilaf, in medium skillet, sauté 1 1/3 cups couscous in 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil until golden; remove from heat. Heat 2 cups chicken stock to a simmer with a pinch of saffron threads and 1/2 teaspoon salt; pour over couscous. Cover and let stand about 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. With a fork, fluff couscous and gently mix in 2/3 cup currants, 2/3 cup diced dried apricots, 2/3 cup toasted slivered almonds and 2/3 cup chopped pistachios.